Total – Zambulk have now successfully commissioned the ReturnHauler unit – jointly purchased by these two companies – to operate on the SA-Zambia route.
Maiden trips done on the vehicle in April, May, June 2018, have included diesel and also copper.
Traditionally ‘standard tankers’ returning from their diesel deliveries in Zambia return the 2 300 km (1 450 miles) to South Africa transporting only (Zambian) air.
This has been the case for almost a century.
These ‘standard’ air-transporting tankers run alongside ‘flatbeds’ carrying copper.
These tankers can of course transport copper south on these routes.
Copper is in abundance on these routes and far exceeds the amount of diesel going north.
ReturnHaulers allow transport operators to alternate diesel and copper loads, operating fully loaded in both directions.
One truck and trailer combination then does the work of two truck and trailer combinations.
ReturnHaulers bring a secondary benefit to the roads on these routes – which go through South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia – with the reduction in some of the existing HCV traffic, as ReturnHaulers become more commonplace.
Less road damage.
Less congestion at borders.
Less congestion and better road safety at mines.